Apr 27 2010

How to hem a dress without sewing?!

Kelli needs help! She has a dress that she needs to wear this weekend that needs to be hemmed. Her alterations place quoted $65 to do it. She doesn't sew...she's considering duct tape! Any suggestions?

Actions: Permalink | Tell A Friend! | Comments (68) | RSS comment feed Comment RSS

Comments (68) -

4/18/2010 12:44:34 PM
Tania United States
Seamstress tape is GREAT for those of us who don't know how to sew!  You just place the tape above the existing hem (you can trim excess material if need be) and iron.  I bought mine at Walmart.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for all you do!
4/18/2010 12:46:01 PM
Lisa Broussard United States
Lisa Broussard
You could purchase that fabric glue.  Depending on the type of material, it would work great.
4/18/2010 12:46:18 PM
Amy United States
You can buy this iron on tape that your can use to hem something.  You just iron it and there is no sewing involved.
4/18/2010 12:46:42 PM
judy wilson United States
judy wilson
I live in atwater i can will do it $15.00  
4/18/2010 12:48:14 PM
Janet Kiessling United States
Janet Kiessling
Kelli, If you really do not want to sew it - and you need something done by Sunday - you can cut it off - BUT leave 2- 3 inches and tapes it up with masking tape or duct tape. Then, at a latter time you can find someone - like mom to fix it better!!!
Have fun - Janet
4/18/2010 12:50:35 PM
Jean United States
Do not gain weight between now and Sunday.  Do not loose weight between now and Sunday.
Have the shoes on when you are ready to cut the bottom of the dress off.  If you want the toes of the shoes to show then cut the dress 1 inch below the toes.  There is hemming tape that is iron on and colored.  Use half of the tape and iron to the bottom of the dress on the outside of the material.  Pin up 1 inch, turn the dress inside out and iron the other half of the tape to the dress.  When I say half of the tape, I mean if the tape is 1 inch wide, iron a 1/2 inch of that tape to the bottom of the dress so that half of the tape is above the material on the dress. It's like a half of a folded page.  Iron on tape is much nicer than duct tape.  It's not hard at all, just make sure the iron is at the right setting for the material of the dress.
4/18/2010 12:51:02 PM
Vena Johns United States
Vena Johns
They make a iron on hem tape. Just get a friend to pin up a place in front and  back while you have it on with your shoes.Take the dress off and turn wrong side out. You can use measuring tape and go around and pin up evenly. If there is too much to turn up trim some excess off before step above. Use same technique. Iron hem so it is flat. Then use the iron on tape you can find at a material store-- we have Joanne, hobby lobby,Hancock. Happy hemming!!!
4/18/2010 12:51:12 PM
Courtney United States
sewing really is a wonderful skill I took lessons and worked at an alteration shop when I was in high school and during the summers or undergrad. I loved people like you who would bring in these simple jobs Smile but I will give you a make shift solution measure up from the hem to the length you need it at and leave a hem allowance or extra fabric about an inch longer than the finished length then just go out and buy some stitch witchery and using the iron press an adhere the bottom up. Hope this helps  
4/18/2010 12:52:36 PM
Becky United States
I have that problem all the time with my slacks and jeans. So I purchased the iron on instant hem. You just fold the garment, place the strip to hold up the fold/seam and iron. It's worth a try and could save you $60 bucks or so.You should be able to purchase at any grocery store.
Good Luck,
Becky /San Antonio
4/18/2010 12:54:34 PM
Michelle United States
Hi Kelli - you can buy a product called Iron-on Hem or Instant Hem or something like that at the local fabric store. All you would have to do is cut the extra fabric off, roll a hem with the fusing in it an the iron it with a hot iron. I use it frequently. It holds great and you can't tell that it's not sown. Good luck
4/18/2010 12:54:40 PM
Sts bestephanie United States
Sts bestephanie
Dear, Kelli

I would put on the dress and have a friend with a GOOD eye mark the dress where it lays best on you and then trim it and use double sided tape to hem it. That way you won't have any strings hanging and if done right no one well ever know. You could also use double side velcro tape.
4/18/2010 12:55:06 PM
Rowena Eicher United States
Rowena Eicher
I am a seamstress, I would suggest going to your local Wal-mart and picking up some no-sew heat bond.  It is like tape but you iron this on and it will hold until you can get it to your seamstress.  This stuff even holds through the wash.  
4/18/2010 12:55:20 PM
Patti Canada
When I need a quick cheap fix I use staples. I don't know who told me about it, but I have done it several times. Also works great when discover your skirt or pant hem has fallen out at work.

4/18/2010 12:55:25 PM
Joshua Elliston United States
Joshua Elliston
4/18/2010 12:56:05 PM
Glennis United States
Stitch Witchery....  If you can cut and iron...your problem is solved!!  This is the easiest stuff in the world to use...available at WalMart or any sewing goods store.  Pin the hem in place and iron this stuff between the layers...it's a life saver!
4/18/2010 12:57:16 PM
megan United States
Hey Kelli just use Aleene's No sew fabric glue. Just glue it and go! So easy and no sewing involved! just thought I would pass knowledge on!
4/18/2010 12:59:36 PM
Irina United States
well it I a lost talent but I am 25 and I have a degree as professional seamstress. I wanna go actually and study as fashion designer. You could buy melting tape at Joann's or hem tape. U apply it with iron Smile. Good luck
4/18/2010 1:00:14 PM
christina United States
I can't sew either. Every time I try it comes out in the wash. So I now staple my clothes.  It works great.
4/18/2010 1:00:36 PM
Leelah United States
Chop it off an inch longer than you want. Buy stitch witchery from Wal-Mart or fabric store. Fold hem up on the inside one inch. Place stitch witchery between layers and iron according to package directions. Less than $5 solution and you'll feel empowered!
4/18/2010 1:03:50 PM
Cynthia Lipe United States
Cynthia Lipe
There is a fusing tape, available at fabric stores.  It is a strip of fusing adhesive that comes in rolls.  Just cut the dress off, iron up the hem, then place the tape between the fabric and iron the hem together.  Be careful, do a test with the excess fabric.  Polyester melts, you may need to put a thin cotton fabric between the dress and the iron.  You can do this - very simple!
4/18/2010 1:09:46 PM
Rowena Eicher United States
Rowena Eicher
I am a seamstress and I would suggest using heat bond.  It is a tape that you iron on.  It will hold even after washing. And it wont poke holes in the dress that your seamstress will have to fix.
4/18/2010 1:10:30 PM
christe mckenzie United States
christe mckenzie
HEm tape.... you just iron it on the hem to the desired length... you can get it at walmart.... its awesome  
4/18/2010 1:11:35 PM
Jody Ward United States
Jody Ward
use iron activated fusible bonding material you buy at the fabric store. Trim the dress, fold up the hem and iron where you want it, then put the fusible fabic between the inside and outside - Iron to melt the fusible fabric and you have a hem without sewing. Easy peasy. doesn't work so hot with flimsy fabrics tho.
4/18/2010 1:11:53 PM
Linda Willett United States
Linda Willett
Go to a fabric store and buy hemming tape.  Then just iron it on.  Very very easy.
4/18/2010 1:12:37 PM
Barbara Christman United States
Barbara Christman
You can go to any Walmart, fabric store and buy Stitch-Witch. Its a few dollars and you cut a strip, fold the hem over it and use a hot stem iron. DONE!!! It works awesome!! Good Luck!! 8-)
4/18/2010 1:12:55 PM
Linda Willett United States
Linda Willett
Go to a fabric store and buy hemming tape.  Just iron it on.  Very easy.
4/18/2010 1:13:45 PM
Mary Fister United States
Mary Fister
Kelli - Rhonda used to be my piano teacher; hubby Jim and I laugh when we hear you laugh - you guys sound so much alike!

Skip the duct tape!  Go to the fabric store - ask them for direction.  But there is fabric tape that you can use - can't recall the brand/name.   It is applied with an iron, and fuses fabric together.  Works great!  I used it on window treatments when we moved into our house and it didn't have curtains.   Give it a try!
4/18/2010 1:14:47 PM
Bonnie Brown United States
Bonnie Brown
You have 2 options.  1. Call your local high/middle school and check with the home ec teacher for possible students interested in a few bucks or 2. go to Walmart and buy "stitch witch" it is an iron on hem tape. This way you are not altering the drape for the next person but are making it useable for your concert.  What is left on the roll can be used when your favorite pair of pants get the hem caught on your high heels.
4/18/2010 1:15:16 PM
Tracey Morris United States
Tracey Morris
Go to walmart and buy hem tape for a buck pin your hem and yhe tape irons on or use the kind that is sticky and irons on I do this all the time used on my daughters prom dress just recently .
4/18/2010 1:16:16 PM
Lori United States
Hi Kelly!
I have a solution for you regarding your dress!
Go to Walmart, go the deparment where the sewing/knitting items are. in that section you need to look for an item that is "hem tape" I'm sorry I dont have the packaging anymore just the tape. You see its this tape that you iron on. All you have to do is measure your dress cut the bottom of it, (make sure you keep it a little longer cause you need to flip the fabric,  pin it and then when your done, put it on the ironing board inside out of course and start to remove about 3 pins, as you remove the pins stick the tape between the the fabric and iron thats it! Its quick and easy and fast. you should be done in about half hour or less. You can call me if you would like more info , I would be happy to help you out! 520-990-0307. Good Luck!
4/18/2010 1:17:12 PM
Rose Krizer United States
Rose Krizer
Kelly can try seam tape. I think they make iron on. Just iron it on to the hem and the turn it up and iron it in place. I think there is such a thing. Good luck. I wish I lived near by I would love to hem it for free!
4/18/2010 1:18:11 PM
Pam United States
Hey Kelli - do you know how to iron?
Surely your momma didn't let you outta the house without that skill.
Well, if so, go to a fabric store - or Joann's Craft Store or Hobby Lobby and buy STITCH WITCHERY.  That's a fusible bonding fabric that you can use to hem your dress simply by ironing!

Like the guy who wanted you to staple it said, cut all the extra length off except for 2-3 inches.  Turn the bottom up and iron in a crease where you want the bottom of the dress to hit your knee or the floor or whatever and then cut a strip of stitch witchery and put it between the 2 layers of fabric and iron.  

Presto - you have a hem!  

Just a word of warning.  If you have a real thin or silky fabric, use a very skinny piece of stitch witchery so it doesn't leave a line where it's bonded.  Maybe you could practice on some of the yards and yards of material that you have to cut off.  In fact, you could use stitch witchery to make Scott a coordinating shirt or something!  Have fun!
4/18/2010 1:18:25 PM
Yury United States
How to hem a dress without sewing?!

You can use a glue gun. Just be careful not to leave peaces of glue hanging like webs. It has worked on my jeans.

4/18/2010 1:19:15 PM
Sarah United States
duck tape sounds good to me!!! <3 lol! Smile I would do the exact same thing!
4/18/2010 1:19:29 PM
KRIS HARMAN United States
4/18/2010 1:20:24 PM
Karen Wilkinson United States
Karen Wilkinson
Hi Kelli!
if you were in Rohnert Park, I only charge my elderly clients $5 for machine stitching and $7.50 for hand stitching.... I would cut you a deal...get it?
God bless!
4/18/2010 1:21:05 PM
Monica United States
The staples idea is a good one, but if you'll be wearing heels, without a doubt you will snag the heel in one of those little pockets between staples as you're getting up from a chair, or when you bend down....happens to the best of us!!

Mighty Mend-it.....you've seen it on TV...it's available in stores now in the "as seen on TV" section...

This stuff is wonderful!!! You just fold the hem up to where you want it, and draw a line with the Mighty Mend it  and stick it back together...it works like crazy glue only better!! works instantly, will only take a few minutes to get the job done...And it is washable, so you'll be all set for the next occasion. Take the bottle with you in your purse, just in case, but in my experience, you'll be all set! Relax and enjoy knowing you look like a million bucks! There is no hint of the glue from the outside.
4/18/2010 1:21:44 PM
Ashley United States
Hem tape.... get it at Walmart or fabric stores Smile.
4/18/2010 1:22:49 PM
Nikki United States
Two words...fabric glue!!
4/18/2010 1:22:50 PM
Shelley United States
There is something called No Sew Hem Tape you can find at fabric and craft stores (maybe Walmart).  You simply put it in between the fabric where you want it and iron in place.  Simple and it lasts a long time.  I would suggest you hang your dress to dry after washing.  
4/18/2010 1:25:43 PM
Ann United States
fabric stores like joann's or hancocks have a tape that is ironed on. You measure your hem put the tape on the bottom edge that is to be folded up, the fold the hem up and iron. It is permanent.
4/18/2010 1:26:14 PM
Paula United States
DUCT TAPE is not too far off the mark. ROFL
Actually go to your local fabric/craft store (or Wal Mart). Your looking for either 2 sided tape (it's specifically designed for this purpose, holding  a seam without sewing. Or there is this other stuff (can't recall the name) looks like interfacing, cut it to size needed, adhere the hem using an iron.
4/18/2010 1:28:52 PM
Rebecca United States
You can buy some "no sew hemming tape" for pretty cheap...better then paying $65!! I have used it before and it can be quick and easy.
4/18/2010 1:29:46 PM
Kathleen Johnston United States
Kathleen Johnston
Target and Wal-Mart have a hemming tape you fold the garment over then iron it. It lasts even in the wash its great! Easy to use and take back down when absolutely needed however lasts as well. Thank you for blessings us and taking us every day into the place of worship. The place where our chains are gone, we are free, and where our spirit is renewed. God bless you!
4/18/2010 6:33:44 PM
Hannah United States
Sadly I don't have even recommendations for your dress. But,  I wanted to say that I do actually sew. I know your were talking about it being a lost art which I guess is true. But I'm fifteen and my mom taught me to sew, I'm homeschooled so it was part of my education. I have sewed several dresses and a few other things, its really fun! I hope you find a way to hem your dress!
4/18/2010 6:33:44 PM
mary United States
at the fabric store there is a hemming tape.... i know because i use to sew at ome time, i use to make my own clothes.
so true that it is a lost art... after listening to you on the radio... i thin i will get back into it... im 49 and my mom taught me to sew as a young girl, took it in school. my youngest daughter sews too.... and she's 27! so try the hemming tape, it comes in different colors...IT'LL WORK!!!!!
4/18/2010 6:42:41 PM
Carol B United States
Carol B
Kelly, When my daughter wanted to shorten her pants she used to use masking tape. It will  come off in the wash but it will not hurt the fabric.
Then later when you have time you  can hem it, or ask a friend to do it.  
4/18/2010 6:44:21 PM
Carole United States
Kelly - DON'T STAPLE, PIN OR USE DUCT TAPE!!  Iron the hem where you want it with hemming tape, it's made specifically for semi-permanent hems and it won't show like staples or pins.
God bless you and He'll help with the hem - just ask!
4/18/2010 6:48:30 PM
Debbie Babb United States
Debbie Babb
Hey there, I emailed you about the hemming, commenting on a lady that said you could iron on this stuff.  It's called Stitch Witchery.   They used to sell it at Walmart but I don't know if they still do.  You could go to a sewing store or craft store, they might have it. DO NOT STAPLE OR DUCT TAPE!!!  If you want to have the dress for the future use this stuff, it's great!!
4/18/2010 6:58:47 PM
April United States
Hem tape works great and is easy to use. I wish you the best.
4/18/2010 7:12:44 PM
Debra United States
I work in Sacramento during the week, you should have a friend who can hem that for you and if not, I could do that for you.
4/18/2010 7:15:03 PM
Raechel Reid United States
Raechel Reid
The no stitch hemming tape that you iron on is great. However, on the air you mentioned washing your dress. Make sure that if you go this route you check the labels and get one that is washable and drycleanable. Some of them are not.
4/18/2010 7:16:09 PM
Paulette Jackman United States
Paulette Jackman
There is a type of fabric tape called Stitch Witchery that works kind of like iron-on double-sided tape. You can find it anywhere fabric is sold. You simply fold your hem up, then place the tape stuff between the 2 layers and press the top with an iron. Works like a charm!

Then you need to call your mother and apologize for not learning what she tried to teach you!

Love you guys! God bless!
4/18/2010 7:18:40 PM
Debra United States
I work in Sacramento during the week and could do that for you.
4/18/2010 9:45:25 PM
Katie Gorsky United States
Katie Gorsky
My son (8) tried calling in to tell you: "Just send it to my mom!"  Haha.  Seriously though..I'm on itSmile  I had a friend who was quoted $15/pair to have gym pants shortened!  I did three for $10.
My Great Aunt Kate was the finishing seamstress on Jackie O's pink suit she was wearing when her husband was shot.  Most days, I have her gift!Smile
4/18/2010 11:09:37 PM
Maridy Carpenter United States
Maridy Carpenter

Everybody's comments about hemming tape are a great idea. Staples do work, but they can show, and like one lady said, your heel can catch. Duct tape actually does work in a pinch, but I would use masking tape because it is less likely to leave behind a sticky residue when removed.

I do find it sad that sewing is becoming a lost art. But, there are still plenty of people out there. I myself am a professional seamstress, and I know probably about 50 other people who sew (men and women). I hope you figure out a solution that works best for you.
4/19/2010 8:32:38 AM
Life United States
Kelli I am one of them I don't sew at all, so now i know what to do, walmart or take it to a cheap place to hem it, but it depends on you. So what happened to your tootbrush situation, is it better now.
4/19/2010 12:04:43 PM
Rebekah United States
Duct tape sounds great, Kelly!!!!!!

Have a good day
4/19/2010 1:03:21 PM
cary United States
two words: safty pins
4/19/2010 9:36:16 PM
SHELLY United States
Hi! Though I didn't read all prior comments, am guessing that the hemming tape that is being suggested is a product called "steam a seam". It's great stuff. It comes as 'sticky back' or as "steam-a-seam 2". "SaS2" is probably going to be the easiest to deal with for your application as both sides of it have an adhesive, whereas the 'sticky back' has adhesive on only one side. It should be available at most fabric, quilting, sewing or craft stores. There are other tapes used for bonding fabrics but reqire that the fabric then be sewn prior to washing in order to retain the seam/hem/bond as the adhesive properties do wash away. "Steam a Seam" is a permanent bond product. Also, it is available in 1/4" and 1/2" widths and different weights, which can be very beneficial depending on what kind of fabric the dress is made of.
Here are a couple of links:  


The first link will take you to info re: regular weight "SaS"/"SaS2". The second link will take you to info re: lite weight "SaS"/"SaS2".
...and, no I don't work for them.
I hope this helps!
4/19/2010 9:38:59 PM
Jo United States
safety pins. just fold it up where u want it and safety pin it for now. Duct tape would work pretty wellSmile Dont you know anybody who sews?? good luck!Smile
4/19/2010 9:49:11 PM
Brian United States
Goto Walmart in the arts and crafts section and get a bottle of patch attach it's permenant and u follow the directions hemming the dress back and put
the liquid to both sides then use an iron to solidify it
4/19/2010 11:58:31 PM
Nariana Van Deventer United States
Nariana Van Deventer
Kelli, Have you considered asking anyone of the women at church if they know how to hem a dress. I'm sure that they're plenty of women, including crafty grandmother, that could use a sewing machine with their eyes closed.
4/21/2010 5:38:05 AM
Claire United States
Well, since that is a cause. I have a couple friends who are RedNecks. They have rubbed off on me just a little. To me-my mom would sew. Sometimes I would. But normally, if I could I would-that is-use.....duct tape....yes sirrreee! Even though get the kind that maybe wouldn't show as much. You do not want to be going on a trip that is important, and walk into the office with a duct tape dress.
4/22/2010 12:34:31 PM
Brenda United States
Hello Kelli,

Since I see that everyone is sending you to Wal-Mart, then I have another option, since you are already at Wal-Mart, just get a New Dress, solves the problem of hemming and comes with a bonus..... A NEW DRESS! Gotta love it.

9/14/2010 7:03:43 PM
facebook advertising Kuwait
facebook advertising
Hi webmaster, commenters and everybody else !!! The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!b Keep 'em coming... you all do such a great work at such Concepts..
. can't tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!
9/16/2010 4:32:42 PM
shalemar United States

haha i was googling how to fix a hem and i came upon this.

for a long dress that was 2 inches long, i chopped off the 2 inches and got a lit candle and burned the edges carefully.  It'll curl up and it will look like it's styled that way.

Easy as pie.
2/24/2011 3:58:53 PM
Carl Williamson United States
Carl Williamson
I need some hemming tape.  Could you give me a contact?

Carl Williamson
Comments are closed